Panoramic pictures the easy way with the Kodak Stretch 35 camera

Panoramic pictures the easy way with the Kodak Stretch 35 camera – Evaluation

R.H. Wells

Here is a fun camera that takes serious photographs. The Kodak Stretch 35 camera is designed for the person who does not take many panoramic pictures. In my case, I had the camera tucked away in a drawer for more than a year and a half before I finally found the ideal place to use it. That place was the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas (last year’s site for PSA’s International Conference). The views of the River Walk are quite close, wide but not very high. It was an ideal condition for this camera.

The camera works very simply. It has a fixed focus lens with a 25mm focal length. The camera (which sells for around $13) is loaded with 200 ISO 35mm Kodacolor Gold film that produces 12 4×11 inch prints. The key to the panoramic pictures is that the film plane is masked to give the panoramic view point rather than cropping the pictures during printing. Just a little more than 50 percent of the vertical coverage of the film is utilized.

The two pictures that accompany this article are B&W prints from the color negatives. Print 1 was taken across the river from the Hilton with favorable morning light. The colorful umbrellas and barge were faithfully reproduced in the color original. Print 2 was taken through a bridge to show a portion of the scene in the first print. In addition, the lighting was not as uniform. In this picture some of the color in the umbrellas and flowers is lost, though the detail does show. The detail at the left edge of the print is very good considering the poor light in that area.

The Kodak Stretch 35 is a tribute to both the film and camera design. Kodak has produced a camera that is both fun to use and gives excellent results.

COPYRIGHT 1992 Photographic Society of America, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group